Welcome to the culinary side of Jefferson, Texas! We have some wonderful places to dine, and they're all here to help you plan your trip to town. You'll find everything from burgers, to steaks, to delicious fried chicken, and even homemade fudge. For visitors' opinions and experiences, check the places out on tripadvisor.com, but meanwhile, here they are in alphabetical order...


Auntie Skinner's Riverboat Club

Billing itself as a biker bar, Skinner's is a place frequented by the citizens of Jefferson. At lunchtime, in fact, you'll find people from the courthouse across the street and many of the other city and county offices dining here. It's not unusual to see a table of police officers having lunch. Things can become crowded in the evenings when bands are playing, however. It has a full menu, and everything is delicious. Their catfish po-boy is a favorite, the grilled chicken salad is a meal all by itself, but my personal favorite is the Dive Bar Burger which has a jalapeno cheese bun with sauteed onions, jack cheese, and a roasted pepper & garlic sauce on side. The only down-side is that it is one of the few restaurants in town that allows smoking, so you have to check out your neighbors when picking a table.
107 W. Austin * Jefferson, Texas 75657 * 903-665-7121 * www.auntie-skinners.com


Austin Street Bistro

This is one of my wife's favorite places to eat in Jefferson - it features soups, and sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, along with entrees such as Frittata, Crostini, Shrimp Scampi, Pecan Encrusted Salmon, and Lasagna. My wife's favorite is their Tomato Basil Soup, along with their Trio Salad and Egg Salad Sandwich on an Oatmeal Molasses Roll. The pies, cakes and pastries that you'll find on the dessert menu are all prepared there every day... Almond Pound Cake with Toasted Almond Streusel with maple butter, Pecan Caramel Torte with dark chocolate drizzle, and many more delectable items. The food is fresh and delicious, and the "sidewalk cafe" atmosphere lends a unique aire of dining to your experience at the Austin Street Bistro.
117 E. Austin St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-9700 * www.austinstreetbistro.com


Big Pines Lodge

Big Pines got its start in the 1950s in Karnack, Texas, about 20 minutes away from Jefferson, and has served catfish and hush puppies ever since, even surviving a few changes of ownership. It was closed for a two-year period starting in 2009 when a tragic fire destroyed the original restaurant. Like a phoenix from the ashes, the new incarnation of Big Pines opened in 2011 in the original location, but in a brand new building reminiscent of the original. Today they serve steak, shrimp, burgers, and of course, their signature catfish. Many people go for the all-you-can-eat catfish dinner, but I find that the three-piece fillet is plenty for me. Of course, their hushpuppies are legendary, and are wonderful to snack on while you're waiting on your meal.
747 Pine Island Rd. * Karnack, TX 75661 * 903-679-3655 * www.bigpineslodge.com


Brookshire's Grocery

It may surprise you to see our local supermarket included in this list, and granted, it's not the place to go for a sit-down meal. I'm mentioning it because if you have a group of people and you need something for a picnic lunch, a tailgate party, or a parking-lot get together (yep, I see you guys doing that at Mardi Gras or the Boo Run) then Brookshires' fried chicken is something to seriously consider. It is delicious, and all the locals know it... you always see someone carrying out a box of fried chicken. They also have a variety of sides for your picnicking pleasure.
404 E Broadway St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-3601


Bulldog Pizza

If you're looking for a great pizza while in town, then Bulldog Pizza is your place... you name it, they have it - pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, cheese, veggie... but the restaurant has much more than that! A popular place for the locals, it has a full menu of non-pizza items, and a daily special ranging from chicken fried steak, to beef tips and rice, to fish & chips, to beef taco salad. They also make one of the best hamburgers that you'll find in town. And if you have a large group of folks wanting to eat together, Bulldog Pizza has a meeting room that might be perfect for your needs.
603 E Broadway St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-9499 * Bulldog Pizza on Facebook


Don Juan's Mexican Restaurant

Located beside the Inn of Jefferson just south of the intersection of Hwy 49 & Hwy 59 in Jefferson, this locally-owned and operated Tex-Mex restaurant is a local favorite... it's almost impossible to get a table Sunday at noon. They offer standard Tex-Mex dishes - enchiladas, tacos, burritos, etc - but have some specialty dishes that are out of this world. Tami's favorite is the Pechuga Tejana, which is a grilled chicken breast on a bed of rice, topped with a creamy guacamole queso sauce and melted cheese. I love their Chipotle Beef Fajitas, which is their beef fajita dish smothered with chipotle sauce and melted cheese. Prices are reasonable, and the food comes out fast.
402 S. Walcott Street (Hwy 59) * Jefferson, Texas 75657 * 903-665-6407 * www.donjuansmex.com


Excelsior House

The Excelsior House is one of Jefferson's historic old hotels - it was opened in the late 1850s and is the oldest operating hotel west of the Mississippi. It doesn't have a restaurant, but it's listed on this page because they do serve an awesome breakfast on the weekends. There's no menu or choices; everyone gets the traditional Excelsior breakfast that includes scrambled eggs, country ham, sausage, grits, fresh fruit, their legendary orange blossom muffins, snuff-can biscuits, along with orange juice and coffee. Believe me, people rave about it. If you're not staying in the hotel, then breakfast reservations are suggested 24 hours in advance, although walk-ins can often be accommodated.
211 W. Austin * Jefferson, Texas 75657 * 903-665-2513 * www.theexcelsiorhouse.com


Five "D" Cattle Company

Just a short drive from Jefferson - about fifteen minutes on Highway 49 west - is Five "D" Cattle Company. As you go through the one-block downtown stretch of the City of Avinger, just look to your right. Five "D" has been a family-owned business since its inception, and they have some of the best steaks that you'll ever put in your mouth. Jeffersonians regularly make the drive for their delicious food. My favorite is their T-bone, while my wife usually orders the flat-iron steak. For sides we get a salad and a baked potato, and round out the meal with some of the most delicious cobbler that you'll ever put in your mouth.
#8 N. Main * Avinger, Texas 75630 * 903-562-1291 * www.fivedcattle.com


Jefferson Fudge Company

If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to stop into the Fudge Company & Old Store on Walnut Street. They start with the richest chocolate, butter and cream. To the chocolate and vanilla base they mix the finest pecans, walnuts, dried fruit, marshmallows, peanut butter and flavorings to produce over twenty daily varieties. They have another twelve varieties that we offer during the various holiday seasons. And if you're monitoring your sugar intake, they make six varieties of sucrose-free fudge. Their sucrose-free fudge contains the types of sweeteners that are acceptable for those medical issues. Stop in, and have a sample - you'll find that the fudge is delicious.
123 N. Walnut St. * Jefferson, Texas 75657 * 903-665-3562 * www.jeffersonfudgecompany.com


Jefferson General Store

The Jefferson General Store is an incredible place - you'll every brand of candy that you remember from your childhood, Jefferson souvenirs, t-shirts, a soda fountain, hand-made pralines, Jefferson-themed books, and a thousand other things... and Moody Dogs. These chili dogs are a Jefferson institution - the Moody family had a restaurant on Austin Street years ago, and the served the Moody Dogs "with, or without." That phrase means with or without a wiener - because the chili was the star of the entree. The Moody family isn't around anymore, but you can still enjoy a Moody Dog in Jefferson from the original recipe at the General Store. Not only can you get them "with or without," just like in the old days, but they also have additives like hot sauce, mustard, and cheese to dress them up. Visit the General Store - you'll find the locals lined up, because Jeffersonians love Moody Dogs... including me! I grab a couple of the culinary delectables all the time - they're delicious. While you're in Jefferson, be sure to include a Moody Dog in your plans... it's a tradition!
113 E. Austin St. * Jefferson, Texas 75657 * 903-665-8481 * www.jeffersongeneralstore.com


Joseph's Riverport Barbeque

This is a second-generation business here in Jefferson, and the barbecue expertise has definitely passed through the family. You can get chopped or sliced brisket, turkey, sausage, and pulled pork - sometimes even smoked whole chickens. Although some folks swear by the catfish here, I always get the barbecue. You see, I judge barbecue by how the brisket tastes the next day after being put in the 'fridge overnight, without barbecue sauce... and I can honestly say that Riverport's is some of the best that I've ever put in my mouth. You don't have to believe me, though - the place is packed with locals every meal, and the restaurant often runs out of food before the weekend evenings. It's that popular. A year or so ago, Texas Monthly magazine even rated it as one of the top 50 BBQ joints in the entire state of Texas - quite an honor!
201 N. Polk St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-2341 * Riverport Barbeque on Facebook


Kahn Coffee House

The Kahn Coffee House is located downstairs in the Kahn Saloon Hotel and opens at 8am Fri-Sun, featuring organic coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, fresh baked pastries, convenience items and more. You can get anything from regular ol' cup of coffee to a caramel macchiato... or how about a vanilla chai tea latte? If it's hot outside, you can enjoy a cool fruit smoothie available in several flavors - my favorite is strawberry banana. When you get your order, take it out and have a seat at their outside bar, where you can relax and watch life on Austin Street go by.
123 West Austin St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-601-4434 * www.kahnsaloon.com


Kitt's Kornbread Sandwich & Pie Bar

What started out as the "House of Pies" at another location in Jefferson ended up being one of the most unique sandwich shops in town. While they were - and still are - famous for their delicious selection of pies, at one point the proprietor decided to start serving sandwiches. Instead of regular bread they decided to try cornbread... and the rest, as they say, is history. Kitt's Kornbread Sandwiches are now legendary in Jefferson. The original is ham or turkey with American cheese, but they have others such as corned beef, vegetarian, chili/cheese, or the "redneck" - fried bologna and American cheese. Truly a unique dining experience!
125 N. Polk St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-0505 * www.kittskornbread.com


The KnightLight Restaurant, Wine Bar,
& Theater

The KnightLight is a smoke-free restaurant, wine bar & theater located in the heart of Historic Jefferson, Texas. On the corner of Lafayette and Walnut streets behind the First National bank. It features wines from around the world; handcrafted beer; stone baked, gourmet pizzas; sandwiches like their Tuscan Sub with salami and prosciutto and pepperoni or the Medieval sub with turkey, creamy brie and red onions; salads; tapas dishes; desserts and more; all served in an "Old World Setting."
202 N. Walnut St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-8546 * www.knightlighttheater.com


Lil' Mama's Kitchen

I have to say, you will never be disappointed at Lil' Mama's Kitchen. There are specials every day - for example, last Thursday, Lilí Mama served cabbage and speckled butter beans along with your choice of meatloaf or beef tips and rice. The next day, Friday, was fish day. You could have filets or whole fish with coleslaw, beans, French fries and hush puppies... and they are delicious. Of course, you can get a burger that is out-of-this-world any time they're open. And you can also get several types of sandwiches, including a pork chop sandwich and a turkey sandwich, both of which are delicious. Itís smart to call ahead to check on that dayís specials and to place your order.
403 W Broadway St * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-8099


McGarity's Saloon

McGarity's Saloon bills itself as "a purveyor of new American dining with international influences." It's conveniently located just a block off of Austin Street, so it's very accessible. There's an outdoor patio for when the weather is drawing you outside. When it comes to their drink selections, their menu says, "Our cocktail menu offers the perfect blend of classic prohibition-era and modernist cocktails featuring hand crafted syrups, house made infusions, and fresh herbs. We feature several local beers by the bottle, as well as seasonal rotators and special releases. We personally select every bottle of wine on our list to pair specifically with our food while also focusing on creating value for our guests. It has been curated to feature some of the best hand-picked bottles from across the globe while featuring the best that Texas has to offer." We love the food at McGarity's and I know that you will, too.
208 W. Dallas St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-601-4407 * www.mcgarityssaloon61.com


Port Jefferson Outpost

The Port Jefferson Outpost is a wonderful stop - you'll find an ice cream counter with hand-dipped cones, a case full of fudge and other delicious pastries, a full coffee/espresso bar, and a grill that serves up a classic breakfast all the way through daily lunch specials. Be sure to check out their gourmet burgers. And while your meal is being prepared you can browse the aisles of jellies, relishes, pickles, soaps, body lotions, kitchen Goods, candles, t-shirts, books about Jefferson, toys, purses/nags, novelty items... the list goes on and on. Plan on spending some time at the Outpost!
220 N. Polk St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-8881 * www.ptjeffersonoutpost.com


River Bend Restaurant

Located on the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou by Caddo Lake, this restaurant features fried catfish, hush puppies, and all of the trimmings. All I can advise is to go hungry, because the folks at River Bend are going to bring you some serious food. When you order, they'll start you out with hush puppies - regular or jalapeno - and cole slaw. You can snack on it while your entrees are being prepared. While these are always plenty for us, appetizers are available including fried green tomatoes, gator bites, onion rings, etc. We always order their catfish, but there are other entrees as well, and I hear great things about their chicken fried steak.
211 PR 2422 * Karnack, TX 75661 * 903-679-9000 * www.riverbendoncaddo.com


Roma's Italian Restaurant

Roma's is located in the old "Hamburger Store" building diagonal from the Jefferson Historical Museum. They have a full Italian menu, including pizzas, and entrees are served with fresh bread and seasoned oil for dipping. My favorite is their "Tour of Italy" that features Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, and Fettuccine Alfredo.
101 S. Market St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-601-4441


Stillwater Inn

Dining at the Stillwater Inn has become an attraction for visitors to Jefferson for many years. Located in a 1890's Victorian house, the chef-owned restaurant has been the setting for fine dining since 1984. Menu selections include grilled seafood and steak, veal specials and roasted rack of lamb, all prepared to order. As well as a three-star rating in Mobil Travel Guide, Stillwater Inn was featured in the May 1993 issue of Southern Living magazine. At the Stillwater Inn you'll find elegant entrees such as shrimp scampi, roasted pork tenderloin, grilled breast of duck, prime cuts of steak, and roast rack of lamb. A primo wine list is offered to accompany your meal.
203 E Broadway St. * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-665-8415 * www.stillwaterinn.com


Taste of Caddo Cafe

Taste of Caddo established its reputation out at Caddo Lake, and once they moved in town they've become a favorite of both the locals and visitors to town. They're known for the chicken fried steak, and it is delicious. If you're in the mood for a hamburger and you're especially hungry, tackle their bigfoot burger, which is delicious and massive.
201 W. Austin * Jefferson, TX 75657 * 903-601-4446


And Of Course, Your Favorite National Restaurants

On U.S. Highway 59, the main thoroughfare through Jefferson, you'll find some of your favorite national restaurants - and they're conveniently all in a row. You'll find them in the following order, from southmost to northmost. And even though they are national chains, you will find folks from Jefferson serving you at every single place.


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